Learning the Qur’an: From Memorization to Implementation [Archives:2007/1074/Culture]
The ability to act in solidarity with other people is a secret of belief that can be seen in gatherings that are attempting to highlight the spirit of self-sacrifice. With this mutual self-sacrificial support and the Qur'an's moral teachings, Muslims have been able to spread Islam and the Qur'an's morality throughout the world. “Muslims are like a palm tree,” said Anas Hassan Karazon, representative of the International Organization of the Holy Qur'an Memorization, an organization intent on displaying the characteristics of normal Muslims, as well as fostering the morality of those who have memorized the Speech of Allah.
More than fifty representatives of Qur'anic associations from throughout Yemen joined together in an effort to educate people who are memorizing the Holy Qur'an, instilling in students its moral teachings.
The gathering lasted for two days. Topics discussed included development of Qur'an centers for males and females, as well as displaying the successful experiences of existing centers in teaching the Holy Qur'an.
Karazon highlighted six principles all associations and centers of the Holy Qur'an should possess: sincerity, integrity, accuracy, determination, tenderness and belonging. He also stressed on the importance of reciting the Holy Qur'an and acting upon its regulations, stating, “The Qur'an is not only a book to memorize, but to act on its moral teachings.”
The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The example of' a believer who recites the Qur'an and acts on it, is like a citron which tastes nice and smells nice. And the example of a believer who does not recite the Qur'an but acts on it is like a date which tastes good but has no smell. And the example of a hypocrite who recites the Qur'an is like a Raihana (sweet basil) which smells good but tastes bitter and the example of a hypocrite who does not recite the Qur'an is like a colocynth which tastes bitter and has a bad smell.” (Bukhari)
The Qur'an is the Best Educator
The Qur'an is the best educator as it deals with issues man needs not only for salvation, but also to achieve peace, justice and prosperity. It is the Book Allah chose to be the seal of the Heavenly Books. Allah descended it upon Prophet Muhammed (peace and blessings be upon him) as the source for the last religion. Through its theology and law, basic principles necessary for planning and leading a good life are provided.
During the gathering of Qur'anic educators, poor people outnumbered rich, however, they were interested more in how they can study the sciences of the Qur'an and teach it to others. Some talked about salary and the importance of providing those who are memorizing the Holy Qur'an with a better life. Many agreed, however, this point was not their priority as they recognized that those group of people in whose hearts the words of Allah reside are wealthy beyond measure.
The study of Uloom Al-Qur'an (the sciences of the Qur'an) is the study of all subjects that relate to the Qur'an's memorization and implementation. The Qur'an is definitely the most marvelous and unique book as it speaks to the scientist, the doctor, the economist, people of every profession and most importantly to the common man.
There are four essential categories which make up the sciences of the Qur'an. The first category is the history of the Qur'an and evolution of its sciences. The second is recitation. The third is Tafseer or explanation of the Qur'an. And the last is Fiqh or effecting and implementing the Qur'an.
Quran Center Success Stories
Representatives from the Holy Qur'an centers displayed the routine of their centers while in Sana'a. The first step is to repeat the verses after the teacher collectively, and then the students read them individually, paying particular attention to those verses that involved difficult sounds and words. The teacher observes the movement of students' mouths to check their pronunciation. The number of students should be few to enable the teacher to follow them most effectively. Students are also required to study Tajweed, which involves reciting every letter correctly, i.e. from its proper origin of pronunciation coupled with its stipulated attributes.
After memorizing the Holy Qur'an, the student is awarded an Ijazah, a certificate to indicate that one has been authorized by a higher authority to transmit a certain subject or text of Islamic knowledge. Ijazah in the Qur'an implies that the student has learned the pronunciation of the Qur'an through face-to-face interactions. The teacher from whom the Ijazah is taken, his isnad reaches to the Prophet, meaning the teacher who has Ijazah pronounces the verses of the Qur'an in the way of the Prophet Muhammed (peace and blessings be upon him).
Once Ijazah is obtained, the learner can then study numerous sciences of the Qur'an such as 'Ilm-ul-Qir'at', which is knowledge of the art of pronunciation, because different methods of recitation sometimes convey different meanings, and sometimes one meaning is to be preferred over the other. Another science is 'Asbab-unaz-ul', which are the particular circumstances which caused the revelation of Qur'anic verses. The meaning of a verse will be better understood if we know how and when it was revealed. Sometimes the true meaning of a verse is understood only if we know the circumstances in which it was revealed. 'Nasikh-o-mansukh' is knowledge of commandments that have subsequently been abrogated or changed, so that abrogated commandments may be distinguished from the standing ones.
Al-Mashhad center is one of the typical Qur'anic centers in Sana'a. It is interested in teaching people to memorize the Holy Qur'an and has many students who have memorized the Qur'an in its entirety. “The number of the students in this center is increasing to thousands,” Zaid al-Ghaili, a professor of the Qur'anic sciences at Sana'a University stated.
Karazon talked about one of the most successful experiences with regard to Qur'an memorization. It involved 100 students in Chad who were uneducated and lived in a remote area. Though they were uneducated, they were enthusiastic to memorize the Holy Qur'an. After teaching them the Holy Qur'an, the organization opened schools for them to study. They excelled in their education and received scholarships to study for their master's degree as well as their doctorate.
From this experience, Karazon hoped to guarantee the students of the Holy Qur'an limitless educational opportunities, as they are studying for the sake of Allah.